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Full text of "Criminal complaint: Ryan Balletto"

FILED 



AO 91 (Rev, OfcW) Criminal Complaint 



United States District Court jj l t-.e 2013 



for the 

Northern District of California 



RICHARD W. WIEKING 
CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT 
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 



United States of America 
v. 



RYAN ALAN BALLETTO 



Case No. /3' r*J ~ 1^1 7 £ //X^ 



CRIMINAL COMPLAINT 

I, the complainant in this case, state that the following is true to the best of my knowledge and belief. 

On or about the date(s) of A pril 12 through May .2, 201 3 in the county of , Lake 

Northern District of Californi a , the defendants} violated: 



in the 



Code Section 
Title 21, United States Code, 
Section 846, 84 1(a). (b)(1)(A) 

Title 21, United Slates Code, 
Section 861 

Title 18, United Stales Code, 924(c) 



Offense Description 
Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1 ,000 or more plants of 
marijuana 

Use of a minor in drug operations 

Possession of a firearm In furtherance of a drug trafficking crime 



This criminal complaint is hascd on these facts: 
See attached affidavit of Special Agent Andrew Jensen 



Sf Continued on the attached sheet. 




City and stati;; _ _ S an Francisco, California 




And rew Jensen, H$i Spedal.Ag.eot 

Primed name and title 



Judge. -f slgmmre 

United S tates JVIaglstrate Judoe_ 
Printed name and title 



IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 

AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT 

T, Andrew Jensen, do swear and affirm as follows: 

INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE FOR AFFIDAVIT 

1 . This affidavit is submitted in support of a criminal complaint against RYAN 
ALAN BALLETTO for violations of 21 U.S.C. § 846 - Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to 
Distribute 1,000 or More Marijuana Plants, 21 U.S.C. § 861 - Use of a Minor in Drug 
Operations, and 18 U.S.C, § 924(c) - Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug 
Trafficking Crime. 

2. It is also submitted in support of a criminal complaint against PATRICK 
STEVEN PEARMAIN for violations of 21 U.S.C, § 846 - Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to 
Distribute 1,000 or More Marijuana Plants and 21 U.S.C. § 861 - Use of a Minor in Drug 
Operations, 

3. The facts set forth in this affidavit are based on my own personal knowledge, 
knowledge obtained from other individuals during my participation in this investigation, 
including other law enforcement officers, my review of documents and records related to (his 
investigation, communications with others who have personal knowledge of the events and the 
circumstances described herein, and information gained through my training and experience. 
Because this affidavit is submitted for the limited purpose of establishing probable cause in 
support of a complaint, it does not set forth each and every fact that I, or others, have learned 
during the course of the investigation. 



1 



AGENT BACKGROUND 

4. I am a Special Agent (SA) with the Department of Homeland Security, 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), assigned to the Special Agent in Charge, San 
Francisco (SAC/SF). I have been so employed since February 2, 2008. As part of my daily 
duties as an ICE Special Agent with the Contraband Smuggling Group, I investigate criminal 
violations relating to violations of Titles 21 and 18 of the United States Code. 1 have received 
training and have actual experience relating to federal criminal procedures, federal statutes, and 
U.S. Immigration and Customs regulations. In the course of my career, I have conducted or 
participated in narcotics investigations in which methamphetamine, cocaine, opium, marijuana, 
MDMA, GBL, precursor chemicals, firearms, and/or currency were seized. I hold a Bachelor's 
degree from California State University, Sacramento, and I have been a sworn federal law 
enforcement officer since 2006. Prior to my employment with ICE, I was employed as a Federal 
Air Marshal with the Federal Air Marshal Service, and graduated from the Criminal Investigators 
Training Program and ICE Special Agent Training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training 
Center in Brunswick, Georgia. 

APPLICABLE LAW 

5. Title 21, United States Code, Section 846 prohibits a person from conspiring to 
manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a 
controlled substance. Title 21, United States Code, Section 861 prohibits a person from 
employing, hiring, using, persuading, enticing, or coercing a person under eighteen years of age 
in committing a drug offense. Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c) prohibits the 
possession of a firearm in furtherance of any drug trafficking crime. 



2 



FACTS ESTABLISHING F ROB ABLE CAUSE 
Background of To vt station of RYAN ALAN BALLETTO 

6. Beginning in December 201 L, the Department of Homeland Security, 

1m mi gratmn and Customs Enforcement (ICE), began an investigation into suspected narcotics 
trafficking by RYAN Af.AN BALLFTTO and others As part of this investigation, in August 
2012, the Homeland Security Investigations Asset IdcnlifLcation and Removal Group identified 
six parcels of land ihai had been purchased by BALLETTO in April 201 1 as well as one parcel 
of land that had been purchased in July 201 0. Several of these parcels arc located in the Ogul in 
Canyon area of Lake County, California. 

7, On April VI, JO 13, County Sheriffs OfTitw Dtitolivt; Frank Walsh 
conducted a flyover of the property owned by RYAN BALLETTO In Ogul in Canyon, an area 
outside of Clear Lake in Lake County, California. DcL Walsh confirmed the ownership by using 
a commercial database that provides assessor parcel numbers (APN) ? APN boundaries, property 
ownership information, global position system (OPS) coordinates, and satellite photographs of 
queried property records. During that flyover, based on his training nw experience, Det. Wttlsh 
identified two greenhouses on the property that were fall of marijuana plants, 

3. Using a handheld GPS device, T>t. Walsh collected the coordinates of the 
greenhouses: Latitude 38 59.575N by Longitude i 22 34.90BW, These coordin^ici arc identified 
in the APN database as^HJunctton Plaza Road t Clearlake, CA, APN 010-055-240-000, with 
RYAN RALLFTTQ as the owner of record. The property is a rural, undeveloped parcel which 
is accessed using a dirt casement road ai the end of Ogul in Canyon Road. Further invest! gut iun 
using a commercial APN database showed that BALLETTO currently owns a total of five 
parcels in the same urea, alt bordering each other with no visible permanent structures, totaling 



3 



631 acres ("BALLETTO's parcels 41 )- All of the parcels are accessed through the same dirt 
easement mad at 1750 Ogulin Canyon Road, Clcarlakc, CA. 

9, Det. Walsh and I then began planning (he application and execution of search 
warrants on BALLETO's parcels for the second week of May 20 13. 

Se«rcli_Fo_r A Missing Juvenile From Iak Angeles 

10, While these preparations were underway, on April 29^ 2013, the Los Angeles 
Police Department requested urgent assistance of the Lake County Sheriffs Office regarding a 
missing juvenile from the JLos Angeles area, hereafter referred to as "tjie Minor/' According to 
the Los Artgeles Police Department, they had information that a juvenile female was being field 
against her will on BALLETTO's property in Lake County, According to the Los Angeles 
officers, BALLflTTO had kidnapped the gir) to have with her. 

11, In response to this request, on April 29. 2013, Lake Count)- Deputies went to 
BALLETTO's listed home sddress-^M Zero Road, Lakeport, California, Because of multiple 
prior contacts, deputies knew BALLETTO to reside at this address. Further, a records cheek 
through the California Department of Motor Vehicles database showed that as recently as 
January 20! J, HALLETTO reported this as his residence* At that address, deputies contacted a 
woman who identified herself as BALLETTO's girlfriend, Deputies asked her about the missing 
juvenile and about R ALLETTO. but she was uncooperative arvd told the patrol officers that 
BALLBTTO had not been home for three days. 

12, Following the contact with BALLETTO's girt ftend, on the morning of April 30, 
2013, a female called Lake County Sheriffs Office [JXSO) Dispatch and identified herself as 
the Minor, tn that call, this person told the dispatch officcrihai she was "okay," The female 



4 



made a second! call tn the LCSO Dispatch and said that she was with someone named li fcyan" in 
Sacramento. LCSO was able to identify the phone number used to make that call imd relayed 
that information to the LAPD. 

1 3 + Based on this information, Del. Walsh proceeded immediately with an application 
for a Slate search warrant from the Lake County Superior Court for BALLETTO's parcels and 
for BALLETTO's home reside nee ,|j5JZeno Road. Lakeport, CA, 

14, LAPD officers determined that the telephone that the Minor used to call LCSO 
dispatch was a cell phone. They then "pinged^that cell phone and tracked the signal to the 
Sacramento, California area. Later that evening, West Sacramento Police officers located the 
female who placed the call to the LCSO dispatch - a 1 5 year old girl - at a hotel in West 
Sacramento* C A . Officers took her i nto protective custody. 

1 5. When ihny look the Minor into protective custody, West Sacramento Police 
Officers arrested an adult male, PATRICK PEARMAIN, who was with me juvenile female. 
While standing next to PEARMAlN-s vehicle, an officer detected a strong odor of marij jana, 
even though the doors and windows were closed- Ihe doors were unsecured arul officers 
conducted a search « Officers discovered a black backpack inside from which the marijuana odor 
seemed to originate. Inside the bag was a large clear plastic bag containing marijuana. Also 
inside the bag were a number of prescription bottles, al! prescribed to PEARMA IN- Officers 
aiso found receipts from Waltiwt for aTracFone. 

I fi. Inside a room at trie hole! in West Sacramento, officers found clothing belonging 

to PEARMA1N and to the Minor. They also found condoms, a pregnancy test, and the keys to a 
vehicle parked in from of the hotel room. 



5 



17, Officers also found a black notebook in PEARMAIN s possession. Written inside 
the notebook thiey found what appears to be a script for the Minor to work off of when she called 
the LC$0 Dispatch or notes of what she told them: 

* Ei The officer showed up at hi* house at 2:00 am T1 

* * N ric dropped me off in Sacramento'' 

* "Say OK" 

■ "Your phone 

* ''[The Minor's namef 

* "They think Im missing" 
. "Ballctto" 

* "Sacramento 17 
i- "Moter 

* "I just warn to make sure Ryan Balletto doesn't get in any trouble if you 
have any questions^ 

1 The notebook also contained apparent sketches of greenhouses and shopping lists 
for cultivation supplies, 

19. As discussed below, PEARNf AIN was later identified as n coconspirator with 
BALLE1TQ in a marijuana cultivation operation located on BALLETTITs parcels, and officers 
transferred PEARMAIN to the custody of the Lake County Sheriffs Office 



6 



The May 1. 2013 Execution of the State Court Search Warran t - Discovery of the 
Marijuana Grow 

20. On May 1 , 20 1 3 at approximately 7:00 a.m., a team of state and federal officers 
and agents from the Lake County Sheriffs Office (LCSO), the Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Defense Criminal 
Investigative Service (DCIS) breached the main gate of the BALLETTO parcels. The property 
includes approximately 680 acres of rugged terrain and dense foliage, many areas accessible only 
by all-terrain vehicle or on foot. Agents and ofTicers reached the main grow site that Det. Walsh 
identified by air, and they found two large greenhouses and a silver travel trailer. 

21 . Greenhouse 1 contained 497 marijuana plants, most of which were over six feet in 
height. This count was verified by myself and DEA Special Agent Ken Richardson. 
Greenhouse I was outfitted with an elaborate cooling system, consisting of a wall mounted 
evaporative cooler that was approximately 40 feet long and 6 feet tall. Each plant was in its own 
planter thai was individually irrigated. The greenhouse was also equipped with a light 
deprivation system that allowed BALLETTO to manipulate the development of the plants to 
produce continuous growing cycles, Inside the travel trailer, they found mail addressed to 
PEARMAIN, which indicates that PEARMAIN was staying in the trailer. Also found inside the 
trailer were several prescription bottles in PEARMAIN's name, one of which had been filled in 
April 2013. 

22. Greenhouse 2 contained 473 marijuana plants; this count was also verified by 
myself and SA Richardson. These plants were also individually potted and irrigated. All of the 
marijuana plants discovered in Greenhouses 1 and 2 were then eradicated. A "prescription" 
sheet for compassionate use of cannabis for PEARMAIN was stapled to the door, 

7 



23. While agents and officers were securing Greenhouses 1 and 2, additional officers 
continued deeper into the property to a third greenhouse that was identified by air that morning, 
Greenhouse 3. Near Greenhouse 3, officers discovered a camper trailer occupied by Ryan 
BALLETTO. BALLETTO was taken into custody by LCSO without incident. 

24. Inside the trailer, officers discovered a cache of weapons, most of which were 
loaded, including: 

• a Troy .223 caliber AR-15 style assault rifle with a night vision scope; 

• a Troy .223 caliber AR-1 5 style assault rifle with a night vision scope and an 
EOTcch scope; 

• a Ruger Mk II .22 caliber pistol; 

• a Springfield XD40 .40 caliber subcompact pistol; and 

• a Sig Sauer P230SL .380 caliber pistol. 

25. One of the AR-1 5s had been modified and had a fully functional, punch-button 
magazine release. A loaded pistol was found under the sleeping bag BALLETTO was using. 
Stored with the rifles, officers found seven (7) fully loaded 30-round .223 caliber magazines, 
four (4) fully loaded 20-round .223 caliber magazines, and a large cache of assorted ammunition, 
Most of the rifles were outfitted with high-quality optics. With the weapons, officers found 
ballistic face masks, a helmet, a flak jacket, an armored plate carrier, night vision devices and a 
gas mask. Several of the items are believed to be military quality, and according to the Defense 
Criminal Investigative Service, are available only to soldiers on the battlefield. 

26. Dct. Walsh also discovered 1 75 marijuana clones inside seed trays in the trailer, 
which appeared to be prepared for outdoor cultivation. 



8 



27. Agents then moved on to Greenhouse 3, which contained 346 marijuana plants, 
nil individually potted and irrigated. This count was also verified by myself and RA Richardson, 
These plants were also immcd lately eradicated, 

28. BALLETTO was advised of his Miranda rights at the scene, and admitted that the 

marijuana and the firearms were his, 

29. While the grow sites at the BALLETTO parcels were being eradicated, the Lake 
County Sheriffs Office also served a search warrant <U BALLETTCVs residence at ^^Zeno 
Roa4 Lakeport, CA. At that location, they contacted BALLETTO 7 s girlfriend once again. 
Deputies found a 7-month old Infant sleeping on the master bed. Two feel away on the 
headboard, tliey discovered a fully loaded and chambered ,45 caliber pistol. While deputies were 
in the residence, tour other children were playing on the master bed ~ BALLETTO 1 s girlfriend 
has five children with BALLETTO - within reach of where the fireqrrn was stored. Agents aisn 
discovered a large gun safe in the house. Deputies asked BALLETTO 1 s girlfriend for the 
combination and fche provided K Inside were 17 firearms, including three assault rifles, three 
precision rifles, several high-capacity magazines and an aircraft GPS device, There were also 
hundreds of rounds of Mimiinicion* over $4,000, and indicia for BALLETTO and his girlfriend, 

30. Also Tound in the safe was a ponyrail of human hair, 

3 L Deputies also found flight maps and paperwork related to the sale and 
transportation of marijuana in the apartment. Deputies found two bags of processed marijuana 

with a gross weight of 220 grams in the kitchen L 

32. hi it Mirandized statement, BALLETTO's girlfriend mentioned a missing 15- 
year-old girl that LCSO deputies had questioned her about two days earlier. Deputies asked ff 



9 



BALLETTO had mentioned the girl to her and she told them BALLETTO said it was a 
misunderstanding, and that someone was trying to get him in trouble. 

The May 1, 2013 Execution of the State Court Search Warrant -Discovery of Sexual 
Abuse of the Minor 

33. During the May 1 , 201 3 search of the BALLETTO parcels, inside and near the 
trailer near Greenhouse 3 where BALLETTO was living, officers found equipment consistent 
with sexual bondage and sadomasochism. They recovered two dildos inside the trailer as well as 
a rope tied into a noose. Among the items was a homemade "rack," which consisted of a large 
wooden frame with cycbolts at the corners, presumably to attach a human to the device and 
immobilize them. Underneath the rack, the LCSO evidence technician found a white towel that 
appeared to have blood stains on it. She tested it with Hemidcnt on scene, which is a 
presumptive test for the presence of blood. She received a positive reaction. 

34. Outside of the trailer officers located a pile of wooden beams. They appeared to 
have been dissembled. Interwoven in the lumber was some type of metal and leather harness. 
The device was worn and well used. 

35. Outside the trailer, officers discovered a metal toolbox, approximately 4' long by 
2' wide by 2' deep, that had been altered to imprison a human. Air holes had been drilled into 
the lid and a blanket was left inside. What appeared to be human hair was also found inside the 
box. A decal inside the box depicted an animal skull surrounding the shadow image of a human 
skull with the logo "Bone Collector." 



10 



Interview of The Minor 

36. Since she has been taken into protective custody, the 1 5 year old female has 
described some of the events that took place during her time with BALLETTO and PEARMAIN 
at what she referred to as the "farm" - the BALLETTO parcels. The Minor has told law 
enforcement that while on BALLETO*s parcels, she worked for BALLETTO by "trimming" for 
him because she was good at it. 1 know from my training and experience that "trimming" in this 
context rciers to cutting the marijuana buds and preparing them to be dried for sale and 
consumption. I know that "trimming" is an essential, and labor-intensive, part of the process of 
manufacturing and distributing marijuana. 

37. The Minor has also provided the following information: (1) She was confined in 
the metal toolbox described above on two occasions for a total of approximately three days. (2) 
PEARMAIN engaged in multiple sex acts with her, including oral copulation and vaginal 
intercourse, sometimes with condoms. 1 (3) BALLETTO engaged in multiple sex acts with her 
including oral copulation and sodomy, sometimes with condoms. 2 (4) BALLETTO told her she 
was a "trooper" because she didn't scream in the bo*. 

38. The Minor also described the marijuana grow as a "mission" that BALLETTO 
and PEARMAIN were running, and that one of the reasons that BALLETTO and PEARMAIN 
locked her in the box was to protect "the mission." Specifically, they did not want the Minor to 
"ruin the mission" or "go off and say something about the mission." The Minor also said that 
they put her in the box to "teach" her because they "had to prove a point." PEARMAIN told the 

1 The Minor indicated that these sex acts were "consensual," Of course, due to the Minor's age, 
she is legally unable to give consent to have sexual activity with an adult. PEARMAIN is 24 
years old. 

2 The Minor indicated that the sex acts with BALLETTO were "not as consensual as" those with 
PEARMAIN, and that she engaged in sex acts with BALLETTO to "help him out." 
BALLETTO is 30 years old. 

11 



Minor that they put her in the boN to tell her not to "fuck up" because they "have a whole lot of 
money on this [the marijuana grow] right now." He also told the Minor that they wanted to 
"help her" because she could "help them" because she is "good with trimming," 

39. During that interview, the Minor recounted that she had been locked in the box 
and that the box had been hoisted at an angle to allow a water hose to be inserted. Water was run 
through the hose into the box and drained out a hole in the bottom. This was done to wash her 
off and rinse human waste from the inside of the box without letting her out. She also said the 
first initial of her first name was spray painted inside the box to mark it as hers. 

40. A poem signed by the Minor found in BALLETTOs trailer described her life as 
being locked inside a box with holes in it. 

CONCLUSION 

41 . Based upon the evidence set forth herein, there probable cause to believe that 
RYAN ALAN BALLETTO committed violations of 21 U.S.C. § 846 - Conspiracy to Possess 
with Intent to Distribute 1 ,000 or More Marijuana Plants, 21 U.S.C. § 861 - Use of a Minor in 
Drug Operations, and 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) - Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug 
Trafficking Crime and that PATRICK STEVEN PEARMAIN committed violations of 21 U.S.C. 
§ 846 - Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute 1 ,000 or More Marijuana Plants and 21 
U.S.C. § 861 - Use of a Minor in Drug Operations. 

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the foregoing is 

// 
// 
// 



12 



true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belie f. 




Andrew M Jensen, Sf etfial Agent 
U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
Immigration and Custdtns Enforcement 
Homeland Security Investigations 



Subscribed and sworn before mc on: 




U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE 



13 



FILED 



AO*n(Rcv 08/fl9) Criminal Complaim « rtn<-% 

. . .. m^l. - i -twJUL ' i d 201 3 

United States District Court B4 a _ 

r RICHARD W.WIEKING 

tor ,ne CLERK, U,$. DISTRICT COURT 

Northern District of California NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 

United States of America ) 

) CaseNo. / 3" /D j - l(Jl1$ AfZ^ 
) 

PATRICK STEVEN PEARMA1N ) 
) 



Dtr/endanlfs) 

CRIMINAL COMPLAINT 

I, the complainant in this case, state that the following is true to the best of my knowledge and belief. 

On or about the date(s) of April 12 t hrough Ma y 2, 2013 in the county of (_a_ke_ in the 

Nort hern District of California .the defendants) violated: 

Code Section Offense Description 

Title 21 , United States Code, Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1 ,000 or more plants of 

Section 846, 841 (a), <b)( 1 )(A) marijuana 

Title 21 , United States Code. Uae of a minor in drug operations 

Section 861 



This criminal complaint is based on these facts: 
See attached affidavit of Special Agent Andrew Jensen 



flf Continued on the attached sheet. 



Sworn to before me and signed in my presence. 



Date 



City and state: 



San Fr ancisco. California 




Andrew Jensen, HSI, Speci al Aaam 
Printed name and title 




Judge 's signature. 



United States Magistrate Judge 



Printed name and title 



IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 

AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT 

T, Andrew Jensen, do swear and affirm as follows: 

INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE FOR AFFIDAVIT 

1 . This affidavit is submitted in support of a criminal complaint against RYAN 
ALAN BALLETTO for violations of 2 1 U.S.C. § 846 - Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to 
Distribute 1,000 or More Marijuana Plants, 21 U.S.C. § 861 - Use of a Minor in Drug 
Operations, and 1 8 U.S-C, § 924(c) - Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug 
Trafficking Crime, 

2. It is also submitted in support ofa criminal complaint against PATRICK 
STEVEN PEARMAIN for violations of 21 U.S.C. § 846 - Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to 
Distribute 1. 000 or More Marijuana Plants and 21 U.S.C § 861 - Use of a Minor in Drug 
Operations, 

3. The facts set forth in this affidavit are based on my own personal knowledge, 
knowledge obtained from other individuals during my participation in this investigation, 
including other law enforcement officers, my review of documents and records related to this 
investigation, communications with others who have personal knowledge of the events and the 
circumstances described herein, and information gained through my training and experience. 
Because this affidavit is submitted for the limited purpose of establishing probable cause in 
support ofa complaint, it does not set forth each and every fact that I, or others, have learned 
during the course of the investigation. 



1 



AGENT BACKGROUND 

4. [ am a Special Agent (SA) with the Department of Homeland Security, 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), assigned to the Special Agent in Charge, San 
Francisco (SAC/SF). I have been so employed since February 2, 2008. As part of my daily 
duties as an ICE Special Agent with the Contraband Smuggling Group, 1 investigate criminal 
violations relating to violations of Titles 2! and 1 8 of the United States Code. I have received 
training and have actual experience relating to federal criminal procedures, federal statutes, and 
U.S. Immigration and Customs regulations. In the course of my career, I have conducted or 
participated in narcotics investigations in which methamphetaminc, cocaine, opium, marijuana, 
MDMA, GBL, precursor chemicals, firearms, and/or currency were seized. 1 hold a Bachelor's 
degree from California State University, Sacramento, and I have been a sworn federal law 
enforcement officer since 2006. Prior to my employment with ICE, I was employed as a Federal 
Air Marshal with the Federal Air Marshal Service, and graduated from the Criminal Investigators 
Training Program and ICE Special Agent Training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training 
Center in Brunswick, Georgia. 

APPLICABLE LAW 

5. Title 21, United States Code, Section 846 prohibits a person from conspiring to 
manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a 
controlled substance. Title 21, United States Code, Section 861 prohibits a person from 
employing, hiring, using, persuading, enticing, or coercing a person under eighteen years of age 
in committing a drug offense. Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c) prohibits the 
possession of a firearm in furtherance of any drug trafficking crime. 



2 



FACTS ESTABLISHING PROBABLE CAUSF 
ttackgrnund o f investigation of RYAN ALAN BALLETTO 

6. Beginning in December 20! L the Department of Homeland Security, 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), began an invest i gal ion info suspected narcotics 
trafficking by RYAN A LAN BALLRTTO and others. As part of this investigation, in August 
2012 T the Homeland Security Investigations Asset Identification and Removal Group identified 
six parcels of land th.u had been purchased by BALLETTO in April 20 M as well as one parcel 
of land that had been purchased in July 2010, Several of these parcels arc located in the Ogufin 
Canyon area of Lake County, California. 

7. On April 12, 20 13, Lake Counly Sheriffs Office Detective Frank Walsh 
conducted a flyover of the pmpcity owned by RYAN BALLETTO in Ogulin Canyon, an area 
outside of Clear Lake in Lake Comply, California. Dtt. Walsh confirmed the ownership by using 
a commercial database that provides assessor parcel numbers (APN), APN boundaries, property 
ownership information, global position system (GPS) coordinates, and satellite photographs of 
queried property records. During that flyover, based on his framing and experience, Det Walsh 
identified two greenhouses on the property that were full of marijuana plants. 

8. Using a handheld GPS device* Del. Walsh collected the coordinates of the 
greenhouses; Latitude 38 59,5 75N by Longitude 122 34.9Q8W. These coordinates are identified 
in the APM database as ■Junction Plaza Road, Clear lake, CA, APN 010-055-240-000, with 
RYAN BALLETTO as the owner of record. The property is a rural, undeveloped parcel which 
is accessed using a dirt easement road at the Crid of Ogulin Canyon Road. Further investigation 
using a commercial APN database showed that BALLETTO currently owns a total of five 
parcels in the same area, all bordering each other with no visible permanent structures, totaling 



681 auras O'BA.LLtnTO's parcels"). ALi of the parcels arc accessed through the same dirt 
easement rogd |*B|| Qgulin Canyon "Road, Clesrlake, CA. 

9. Det. Walsh and ! then began planning the application and execution, of search 
warrants un B A LLfc T O' s parcels for the second week of May 2f)13 + 

Search For A Missing Juvenile From Los Angeles 

I 0. While these preparations were underway, on April 2% 20 13, the Los Angeics 
Police Department requested urgent assistance of the Lake County Sheriffs Office regarding a 
missing juvenile from the Los Angeles area^ hereafter referred to as "the Minor*" According to 
the Los Angeles Police Department they had information thai s juvenile female was beinfi held 
against her will on B ALLETTO' s property in Lake County-. According to the Los Angeles 
officers, DALLETTO had kidnapped the gErt to have sex with her. 

1 1 H fn response to this request, on April 29. 2013, Lake County Deputies went to 
B ALLETTO ? 5 listed home address-^MZeno Road, LakepOrt, California, Bceause of multiple 
prior contacts, deputies knew B ALLETTO to reside at this address. Further a records check 
through the California Department of Motor Vehicles database showed thut as recently as 
January 20 13, B ALLETTO reported this as his residence. At that address, deputies contacted a 
woman who identified herself as BALLETTCTs girlfriend. Deputies asked her about the missing 
juvenile and about B ALLETTO, but she was uncooperative and laid the patrol Officers that 
BALLETTO had not been home for three days, 

1 2, Following the contact with BALLETTO *5 girlfriend, on this morning of April 30, 
20 1 3, a female called Lake County Sheriffs Office (LCSO) Dispatch and identified herself as 
the Minor. Tn that call, this person told the dispatch officer that she was "okay. 7 ' The female 



4 



made a second call to the LCSO Dispatch and said that she was with someone named l 'RyarT in 
Sacramento. LCSO was able to ideittify the phone number used to make that Dal] and relayed 
thai; information to the LAPD 

13. Dascd on this information, Det Walsh proceeded immediately with an application 
for a state search warrant from the Lake County Superior Court forBALLUTTCTs parcels an4 
tor EaLLEITO's home residence, ^jgj Zen o Road, L&kcport, CA, 

L4, LAPD officers determined that the telephone that the Mirtor used to call LCSO 
dispatch was a ceM phone. They tlien "pinged" that cell phone and tracked the signal to the 
Sacramento, California area. Later that evening. West Sacramento Police officers located the 
fernale who placed the call to the LCSO dispatch - a 15 year old girl - at a hotel hi West 
Sacramento, CA. Officers took her into ftfotcclive custody. 

15. When they took the Minor into protective custody, West Sacramento Police 
Officers arrested m adult mate, PATRICK FRARMAIN, who was with the juvenile female. 
While standing next to PEARMAlN's vehicle, an officer detected a strong odor of marijuana, 
even though the doors and windows were closed. The doors were unsecured arid officers 
conducted a search. Officera discovered a black backpack inside frnm which the marijuana odor 
setmed to originate, Inside the bag was a large dear plastic bag containing marijuana. Also 
inside the bag were a number of prescription bottles, all prescribed to PEARMAIN, Officers 
also found receipts from Walmart for a TracFone, 

1 6 t Inside a room at the hotel in West Sacramento, officers found clothing belonging 
to PEARMAIN and to Lhe Minor. They also found condoms, a pregnancy lesL, and the keys to a 
vehicle parked in front of the hotel roorrf. 



5 



17. Officer? also found a black notebook in PEARMAfN's possession. Written inside 
the notebook they found whaL appears to be a script for the Minor to work off of when she called 
the LCSO Dispatch or notes of what she told ihem: 

• ''The officer snowed up at his house at 2:00 am 7 ' 

• "He d ropp etf m e off i n Sacram ento'' 
- "Say OK" 

• h Yo!jr phoned 




* L, [The Minor's ramc]" 

« 'They think Tm missing" 

* * : Ballefto T 

* -'Sacramento 71 

* "Motel" 

* "I just want io make sure Ryan BaNetto doesn't gel in any trouble if you 
have any questions" 

l The note honk also contained apparent sketches of greenhouses and shopping lists 
for cultivation supplies, 

1 9, As discussed below, PEARMAIN was lalcr identified as a coconspirator with 
BALLETTO in a marijuana cultivation operation located on 9ALLETTO s parcels, and officers 
transferred PEARMAIN to the custody of the Lake County Sheriffs Office. 



6 



The May 1, 2013 Execution of the State Court Search Warrant - Discovery of the 
Marijuana Grow 

20. On May 1, 2013 at approximately 7:00 a.m., a team of slate and federal officers 
and agents from the Lake County Sheriff's Office (LCSO), the Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Defense Criminal 
Investigative Service (DCIS) breached the main gate of the BALLETTO parcels. The property 
includes approximately 680 acres of rugged terrain and dense foliage, many areas accessible only 
by all-terrain vehicle or on foot. Agents and officers reached the main grow site that Det, Walsh 
identified by air, and they found two large greenhouses and a silver travel trailer. 

21 . Greenhouse 1 contained 497 marijuana plants, most of which were over six fect in 
height, This count was verified by myself and DEA Special Agent Ken Richardson. 
Greenhouse 1 was outfitted with an elaborate cooling system, consisting of a wall mounted 
evaporative cooler that was approximately 40 feet long and 6 feet tall. Each plant was in its own 
planter that was individually irrigated. The greenhouse was also equipped with a light 
deprivation system that allowed BALLETTO to manipulate the development of the plants to 
produce continuous growing cycles. Inside the travel trailer, they found mail addressed to 
PEARMAIN, which indicates that PEARMAIN was staying in the trailer. Also found inside the 
trailer were several prescription bottles in PEARMATN's name, one of which had been filled in 
April 2013. 

22. Greenhouse 2 contained 473 marijuana plants; this count was also verified by 
myself and SA Richardson. These plants were also individually potted and irrigated. All of the 
mari juana plants discovered in Greenhouses 1 and 2 were then eradicated. A "prescription" 
sheet tor compassionate use of cannabis for PEARMAIN was stapled to the door. 

7 



23. While agents and officers were securing Greenhouses 1 and 2, additional officers 
continued deeper into the property to a third greenhouse that was identified by air that morning, 
Greenhouse 3. Near Greenhouse 3, officers discovered a camper trailer occupied by Ryan 
BALLETTO, BALLE'ITO was taken into custody by LCSO without incident. 

24. Tnside the trailer, officers discovered a cache of weapons, most of which were 
loaded, including: 

• a Troy .223 caliber AR-15 style assault rifle with anight vision scope; 

■ a Troy .223 caliber AR-1 5 style assault rifle with a night vision scope and an 
EOTech scope; 

• a Ruger Mk II ,22 caliber pistol; 

• a Springfield XD40 .40 caliber subcompact pistol; and 

• a Sig Sauer P230SL .380 caliber pistol. 

25, One of the AR-1 5s had been modified and had a fully functional, punch-button 
magazine release. A loaded pistol was found under the sleeping bag BAIXETTO was using. 
Stored with the rifles, officers found seven (7) fully loaded 30-round .223 caliber magazines, 
four (4) fully loaded 20-round .223 caliber magazines, and a large cache of assorted ammunition. 
Most of the rifles were outfitted with high-quality optics. With the weapons, officers found 
ballistic race masks, a helmet, a flak jacket, an armored plate carrier, night vision devices and a 
gas mask. Several of the items are believed to be military quality, and according to the Defense 
Criminal Investigative Service, arc available only to soldiers on the battlefield. 

26, Det. Walsh also discovered 1 75 marijuana clones inside seed trays in the trailer, 
which appeared to be prepared for outdoor cultivation. 



8 



27, AgCiUS then moved on to Greenhouse 3, which contained 346 marijuana plants, 
all individually polled and irrigated. This count was also verified by myself and SA Rich ard soil 
These plants were also immediately eradicated. 

23, BALLBlTt) was advised of his Miranda rights at the scene, and admitted that the 
marijuana and the firearms were his. 

29. While the grow sites at the BALLFTTO parcels were being eradicated, the Lake 
County Sheriffs Ofijee also served a search warrant at BALLETTtTs residence at H3Zcno 
Road, Lake port, CA. At that location, they contacted flALLKJTO's girlfriend once again. 
Deputies found a 7-tnomh old infant sleeping on the maslcr bed. Two feer away on the 
headboard, they discovered a fully loaded and chambered .45 caliber pistol. While deputies were 
in l he residence, four other children were playing on the master bed - BALLETTO's girlfriend 
has five children with B ALLETTO - within reach of where the firearm was stored. Agents alsn 
discovered 4 large gun safe in the house. Deputies asked D ALLETTO 1 s girlfriend for the 
combination and she provided it rnsidc were 17 firearms, including three assault rifles, three 
precision rifles, several high-capacity magazines and an aircraft GPS device. There were also 
hundreds of rounds of ammunition, over $4,000, and indicia for BALLF/TTO and his girlfriend, 

30. Also found in the safe was a pony Tail of human hair, 

31 1 Deputies also found flight maps and paperwork related to the sale and 
transportation of marijuana in the apartment. Deputies tbund two bags of processed marijuana 
with a gross weight of 220 grams in the kitchen. 

32. hi a Mirandized statement, BALLETTCTs girlfriend mentioned a missing 15- 
year-old girl that LCSO deputies had questioned her about two days earlier. Deputies asked if 



BALLETTO had mentioned the girl to her and she told them BALLETfO said it was a 
misunderstanding, and that someone was trying to get him in trouble. 

The May 1, 2Q13 Execution of the State Court Search Warrant - Discovery of Sexual 
Abuse of the Minor 

33. During the May 1, 2013 search of the BALLETTO parcels, inside and near the 
trailer near Greenhouse 3 where BALLETTO was living, officers found equipment consistent 
with sexual bondage and sadomasochism. They recovered two dildos inside the trailer as well as 
a rope tied into a noose. Among the items was a homemade "rack," wh ich consisted of a large 
wooden frame with eyebolts at the corners, presumably to attach a human to the device and 
immobilize them. Underneath the rack, the LCSO evidence technician found a white towel that 
appeared to have blood stains on it. She tested it with Hcmidcnt on scene, which is a 
presumptive test for the presence of blood. She received a positive reaction. 

34. Outside of the trailer officers located a pile of wooden beams. They appeared to 
have been dissembled. Interwoven in the lumber was some type of metal and leather harness. 
The device was worn and well used. 

35. Outside the trailer, officers discovered a mclal toolbox, approximately 4' long by 
2' wide by 2' deep, that had been altered to imprison a human. Air holes had been drilled into 
the lid and a blanket was left inside. What appeared to be human hair was also found inside the 
box. A decal inside the box depicted an animal skull surrounding the shadow image of a human 
skull with the logo "Bone Collector." 



10 



Interview of The Minor 

36. Since she has been taken into protective custody, the 15 year old female has 
described some of the events that took place during her time with BALLETTO and PEARMAIN 
at what she referred to as the "farm" - the BALLETTO parcels. The Minor has told law 
enforcement that while on BALLETCTs parcels, she worked for BALLETTO by "trimming" for 
him because she was good at it. I know from my training and experience that "trimming'' in this 
context refers to cutting the marijuana buds and preparing them to be dried for sale and 
consumption. I know that "trimming" is an essential, and labor-intensive, part of the process of 
manufacturing and distributing marijuana. 

37. The Minor has also provided the following information: (1) She was confined in 
the metal toolbox described above on two occasions for a total of approximately three days. (2) 
PEARMAIN engaged in multiple sex acts with her, including oral copulation and vaginal 
intercourse, sometimes with condoms. 1 (3) BALLETTO engaged in multiple sex acts with her 
including oral copulation and sodomy, sometimes with condoms. 2 (4) BALLETTO told her she 
was a "trooper" because she didn't scream in the box. 

38. The Minor also described the marijuana grow as a "mission" that BALLETTO 
and PEARMAIN were running, and that one of the reasons that BALLETTO and PEARMAIN 
locked her in the box was to protect "the mission." Specifically, they did not want the Minor to 
"ruin the mission" or "go off and say something about the mission." The Minor also said that 
they put her in the box to "teach" her because they "had to prove a point." PEARMAIN told the 

1 The Minor indicated that these sex acts were "consensual." Of course, due to the Minor's age, 
she is legally unable to give consent to have sexual activity with an adult PEARMAIN is 24 
years old. 

2 The Minor indicated that the sex acts with BALLETTO were "not as consensual as" those with 
PEARMAIN, and that she engaged in sex acts with BALLETTO to "help him out," 
BALLETTO is 30 years old. 

II 



Minor that they put her in the box to tell her not to "fuck up" because they "have a whole lot of 
money on this [the marijuana grow] right now/" He also told the Minor that they wanted to 
"help her" because she could "help them" because she is "good with trimming." 

39. During that interview, the Minor recounted that she had been locked in the box 
and that the box had been hoisted at an angle to allow a water hose to be inserted. Water was run 
through the hose into the box and drained out a hole in the bottom- This was done to wash her 
oft and rinse human waste from the inside of the box without letting her out. She also said the 
first initial of her first name was spray painted inside the box to mark it as hers. 

40. A poem signed by the Minor found in BALLETTO's trailer described her life as 
being locked inside a box with holes in it. 

CONCLUSION 

41 . Based upon the evidence set forth herein, there probable cause lo believe that 
RYAN ALAN BALLETTO committed violations of 21 U.S-C § 846 - Conspiracy to Possess 
with Intent Lo Distribute 1,000 or More Marijuana Plants, 21 U.S.C. § 861 - Use ofa Minor in 
Drug Operations, and 1 8 U.S.C. § 924(c) - Possession ofa Firearm in Furtherance ofa Drug 
Trafficking Crime and that PATRICK STEVEN PFARMAiN committed violations of 21 U.S.C. 
§ 846 - Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute 1,000 or More Marijuana Plants and 21 
U.S.C. § 861 - Use ofa Minor in Drug Operations. 

I declare under penally of perjury under the laws of the United States that the foregoing is 

// 
// 
// 



12 



true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. 



Subscribed and sworn before trie on: 
Date/ / 



Andrew M- Jensen, Special Agent 
U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement 
Homeland Security Investigations 




HON. NANDOR J. VADAS 
U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE 



13